At Paper Starlights it has always been our aim – and our pleasure - to light up spaces and experiences. We love to put on a show and we love to see our stars spread a little joy. Whatever the location.
So when we had the chance to decorate the ‘Visit Peak District and Derbyshire’ marquee at Chatsworth Country Fair, we jumped at it! The aim of the marquee was to showcase local indie businesses as well as promoting the host organisation – literally on its home turf in the heart of the Peak District National Park.
Visit Peak District & Derbyshire Marquee
The Chatsworth Country Show is held annually at Chatsworth House, Peak District and is one of the key places to go in the Peak District. Along with Christmas at Chatsworth, it’s a big occasion in the calendar of Derbyshire folk, as well as pulling in visitors from neighbouring Staffordshire and not so near Northumberland. This year’s Country Fair was the first one since 2019, so it was always going to be a good one!
The Peak District is a convivial place to be. Both the natural and man-made environment of the district is characterised by a rich vein of contours, and a dense variety of experience. From Chatsworth afternoon tea to a swim in the river, Chatsworth House and Chatsworth House Garden are part of this rich Derbyshire mix. And rising out of Edensor Village, they are yet another example of how the natural environment of the area has been shaped by human intervention, endeavour and idiosyncrasy.
Our aim when dressing the marquee was to create an atmosphere that visitors wanted to step into - to create a warm Derbyshire welcome. We wanted to create a sense of destination that reflected our host’s branded colours. As well as being welcoming to visitors and a ‘nice place to be’. And because the purpose of the marquee was to promote Derbyshire businesses as well as the host organisation, it was important that the visitor experience mirrored the experience of visiting the Peak District itself. That visitors to the marquee felt inspired, happy to be there, comfortable and in good company.
Top left: Lydia's Cake Studio; bottom left: China Petals; right: Oil Can Grooming.
In the same way that the Peak District has dales, peaks, moorlands, market towns and villages, the marquee sought to represent a rich variety of businesses, all operating and inspired by the environment we are all so lucky to live and work in. By decorating the space, we wanted to create contours and shapes, re-creating the sense of excitement a visitor might have in arriving in the Peak District itself. And to highlight the businesses who do so much to give detail and memories to visitors to the area.
Top left: Nichol Stokes; top right: Cup & Saucer ; bottom left: Visit Peak District & Derbyshire; bottom right: Harriet & Lolas.
We love collaborating with other businesses and organisations and sharing aspirations. Another aspect of why we love to live and work in the Peak District is the support and solidarity that’s played out every day amongst its people and businesses. It’s the Derbyshire culture, the Derbyshire way, and though it may be hard to define, it’s a feeling that doesn’t go unnoticed by visitors to the area. And perhaps it’s just one of the reasons why people feel at home here – and want to return again and again.
Top left: Bear Cool Honey Company; bottom left: Guy Badham Photography; right: Crooked Pickle Co.
Our show of stars was a big hit and it was wonderful to see them displayed in such an environment. The marquee was a happy sociable space where business happened and new connections were made. It's amazing what can happen under the stars. Sometimes we don’t even have to look up to see them – sometimes all it takes is the glow and ambience they create that gives a sense of comfort and warmth.
Left: Park Designs ; top middle : Harriet & Lolas; top right: Paper Starlights; bottom middle: Bear Cool Honey Company.
Perhaps, just like the Peak District itself, it’s difficult to actually put your finger on why it’s so special. It just is.
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